#SHRM19 Interview with Josh Tolan, Founder and CEO of Spark Hire

This is a 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition interview with Josh Tolan, Founder & CEO at Spark Hire. Learn more about one-way video interviews, steps in the hiring process, and scaling a business.

Who is Spark Hire!? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at #SHRM19 in Las Vegas.

Spark Hire is a video interviewing platform that helps organizations of all sizes make better hiring decisions significantly faster than ever before. Just imagine – instead of spending 30 minutes on a phone screen early in the hiring process, you can have candidates record video responses to your interview questions on their own time. You’re able to review these video recordings at your convenience and share them with hiring managers. As a result, you’ll interview way more people in far less time, learn more about your candidates, and boost collaboration so you’re only investing time and effort into the best candidates for in-person interviews. The typical Spark Hire customer increases the efficiency of their screening process by 5-7x while improving the quality of their talent pool.

Video interviewing is a competitive and crowded space! What’s been the key for Spark Hire to amass 5,000 customers, and counting?

It has always been our mission to become a staple in the hiring process for as many organizations as possible. Therefore, when we launched the business, the focus was to reach massive scale and not restrict the use of our solution to only large companies. This strategy shows itself in our pricing model in which there are no contracts and customers can try us out on a month to month basis at a cost-effective rate. In addition, we placed a strong emphasis on delivering a super easy to use product and an amazing customer experience. Our goal is to be the best company that our customers ever do business with. Ultimately, this has led to thousands of happy customers and recognition as the top video interviewing platform across all major software review sites.

How many employees are at Spark Hire? Because Spark Hire itself has grown pretty fast.

Currently, we’re just over 40 employees, but the team size is continuing to grow and we keep taking more space in our building. Also, it seems like the more people we add to the team creates new jobs that we need to fill. For example, as we expand the sales team and bring on more customers, we need to keep pace on the customer success side and hire people who will work with all of the customers we are signing up. One of the things that we’re really proud of is the methodical way we’ve gone about building the business. We never raised any venture capital funding and have been profitable for years. This keeps us accountable for executing on our strategies and developing a company that’s going to be around for the long haul.

Let us in on the magic. What’s the interview process like at Spark Hire? How do you utilize your own tech to discover the best talent?

We use our technology in multiple phases of our hiring process. When a candidate applies, we do the typical resume screen and then use our interview scheduling tool to book a quick call between a candidate and someone on our recruiting team. During this call, we provide the candidate with more information about the company and the job and make sure it’s a mutual fit to move forward in the process. From here, we invite the candidate to complete a one-way video interview. We usually ask 5-7 questions to get to know the candidate more. When the interview is completed, a notification lets everyone on the hiring team for that role know that an interview is ready to be viewed and evaluated. Our hiring team will then collaborate on the video interview and determine if the candidate should be invited to an in-person interview which is also scheduled using our interview scheduling tool. If the candidate is non-local, we do the final interview as a live video interview on the Spark Hire platform. Finally, when we make an offer to a candidate, we will send a video message using our solution. The video message is from me and expresses our excitement about the candidate joining the team. This is a nice personal touch that gives us a competitive edge in the tight market for talent.

What do you wish more HR professionals and recruiters knew about video interviewing?

I wish that more HR professionals and recruiters knew about one-way video interviews. Many folks still believe that video interviewing platforms are the same as video chat/video conference solutions (e.g. Skype, Facetime, Zoom, etc.) As a result, most people think that video interviews are only used when you have non-local candidates.

However, most organizations using video interviews are leveraging one-way video interviews which allow candidates to do the interview on their own time. This solution should be used no matter where your candidate is located. Just because a candidate lives 5 minutes down the road doesn’t mean you should do a 1-2 hour in-person interview with them. A one-way video interview empowers your team to learn more about your candidates in less time so you can ensure you’re only doing final, in-person interviews with the best people.

Personally, I believe that the video interviewing industry is going to experience huge, exponential growth as soon as HR professionals and recruiters realize that one-way video interviews are available to them.

For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the Spark Hire, booth #1709, in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?

No matter the size or industry of your organization, if you’re hiring, Spark Hire should be a staple in your hiring process. Our video interviewing solution will help you make better hiring decisions in a fraction of the time. If you’re not able to make it to our booth at SHRM, request a demo on sparkhire.com and one of our product experts will show you a personalized presentation to paint a picture on how video interviews can benefit your organization. Also, if you decide to move forward with Spark Hire, there are no contracts so it’s a minimum commitment for a potentially huge improvement in your hiring process.

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: